Inclusion and healthcare choices: the experiences of adults with learning disabilities

Morag Ferguson, Dominic Jarrett, Melody Terras

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    People with learning disabilities have fewer choice opportunities than the general population. Existing research provides some insight, but the choice-making experiences of those who do not always utilise available healthcare remains under-explored. This research explored the choice-making experiences of two groups of individuals with a learning disability: (Group 1 - Irregular attenders) those who had opted out of healthcare appointments for avoidable reasons; and (Group 2 - Regular attenders) those who had attended all appointments or not attended for unavoidable reasons. Interviews were carried out with people with learning disabilities (N = 4) and/or their primary carer (N = 13). In addition to these interviews, Physiotherapy staff participated in a focus group (Group 3). The interviewed individuals with learning disabilities described experiences of and opportunities for making everyday choices but generally identified 'others' as being responsible for making their healthcare choices. Greater understanding of the healthcare expectations and experiences of individuals with learning disabilities, carers and healthcare staff is required to support people with learning disabilities as active healthcare decision-makers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)73-83
    JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


    • Choice
    • choice making
    • empowerment
    • healthcare
    • intellectual disability
    • learning disability


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